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Design for Information


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About the Author

ISABEL MEIRELLES is Associate Professor in Graphic Design at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where she teaches Information Design. For the past 15 years, she has worked in communication design as art director in publication design, as well as in motion and interactive design. Her research revolves around the theoretical and experimental examination of the fundamentals underlying how information is structured, represented, and communicated in different media.


Meirelles (Northeaster Univ.) has made an important contribution to the field of information design. In the 1980s and 1990s Edward Tufte wrote Visual Display of Quantitative Information (CH, Nov'83), Envisioning Information (CH, Nov'90, 28-1398), and Visual Explanations (CH, Jul'97, 34-6236). Not since Tufte's work has a book on information design promised such an advance. The key here is the careful classification of information into six kinds of structures. These are reflected by the six chapter titles: Hierarchical Structures: Trees; Relational Structures: Networks; Temporal Structures: Timelines and Flows; Spatial Structures: Maps; Spatio-Temporal Structures; and Textual Structures. Very well illustrated and well written, this book will probably become the benchmark for teaching information design. With an appendix, detailed bibliography, and comprehensive index, this is a key resource in the field. It also makes a contribution to general graphic design theory, as its structural classification can be extended to all kinds of visual communication. Summing Up: Essential. - Choice

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